Editor/Aviation Historian Fails to Fly

January 26, 2015 8:57 PM

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Once again, the Whitehead Affair is heating to full boil. The reader might remember that in 2013 Paul Jackson, the editor of the aerospace industry guidebook, Jane's All The World's Aircraft, proclaimed Gustave Whitehead as being the first human to fly, in August of 1901, near Bridgeport, Connecticut, some two years prior to the first flights of Wilbur and Orville Wright.

To say this caused a "flap" (not as in "flapping wings") would be a major understatement, and to say that this coronation by Jane's editor was with merit would be an erroneous statement. The editor was persuaded by the flimsy "evidence" presented by a part-time aviation history dabbler who was and s...

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